Undrafted Knights seek NFL opportunities
Published: Monday, May 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2012 16:05
When the Minnesota Vikings took former UCF Knight Josh Robinson in the third round, the defensive back became the highest drafted player from a school in Florida in this year’s draft.
It’s pretty common knowledge for anyone who casually follows the program.
Robinson, though, is not alone in his pursuit of NFL dreams, with at least three other former Knights having been picked up as undrafted free agents. Tight end Adam Nissley, long snapper Charley Hughlett and linebacker Josh Linam all signed free-agent contracts after the draft.
Nissley was scooped up by the Atlanta Falcons soon after the draft. Nissley has impressive size at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, and he repped 225 pounds 40 times on the bench press at UCF’s Pro Day, gaining the attention of NFL scouts. Nissley came to UCF as an offensive tackle and possibly could return to that position at the next level because of his size and athleticism.
Despite his build as a blocker, Nissley flashed the ability to be an offensive threat, posting 21 catches for 235 yards as a redshirt senior. Nissley earned All-Conference USA Honorable Mention at tight end.
Hughlett was considered one of the nation’s most sought-after long snappers. Hughlett signed to the Dallas Cowboys with an opportunity to make the roster. The former Knight is in a direct competition with L.P. Ladouceur for a roster spot. Hughlett’s youth could allow him to unseat the eight-year NFL veteran.
Linam agreed to a contract with the San Diego Chargers. As one of three true inside linebackers on the roster, Linam could make the team with an impressive showing this summer. The Chargers play a “3-4” defense, which puts two inside linebackers on the field together. Most “3-4” teams carry three or four inside linebackers, increasing Linam’s chance of sticking around.
At 6-foot-3 and 237 pounds, Linam will likely need to add some weight to reach the prototypical linebacker size.
Undrafted free-agent contracts generally are guaranteed as far as money goes, but the majority of undrafted free agents do not make NFL rosters. Most undrafted free agents who impress over summer are placed on practice squads.
While these three are the only players to sign free-agent contracts thus far, wide receiver A.J. Guyton participated in the Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp.